Research Shows Promising Results for Respiratory Syncytial Virus Prefusion F Protein Vaccine in Older Adults - medtigo



Research Shows Promising Results for Respiratory Syncytial Virus Prefusion F Protein Vaccine in Older Adults

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Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common cause of respiratory tract infections in children and can also cause severe symptoms in older adults. Although natural immunity to RSV is incomplete, prevention is currently limited to infants, making older adults an important target population for RSV vaccine development.

However, the relationship between RSV and the immune system is complex, requiring a more profound understanding to develop an effective vaccine candidate for older adults.  

Several vaccine candidates targeting RSV antigens, including pre-F, F, G (A), G (B), M2-1, and N, have shown efficacy against RSV infection in older adults in clinical trials. However, ongoing research is needed to investigate the RSV immune response and how the choice of antigenic target site may impact vaccine effectiveness.  

According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Phase 3 vaccine candidates are being tested in older adults with the goal of achieving adequate protection against RSV. However, there are hurdles that must be overcome, including the need for a better understanding of the immune response to RSV, developing a vaccine that is effective against both A and B strains of the virus and ensuring that the vaccine is safe and well-tolerated by older adults.  

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a primary global health concern that significantly burdens children and older adults. According to recent data, RSV is responsible for a substantial number of deaths and hospitalizations among adults aged 18 years and older, with 93% of these cases occurring in older adults aged 65 years and above.

In the United Kingdom alone, RSV-attributable respiratory disease causes approximately 83 pediatric deaths per average season. Moreover, a recent meta-analysis estimated that 5.2 million cases of RSV occurred in high-income countries among adults aged 60 years and above in 2019, leading to 470,000 hospitalizations and 33,000 in-hospital deaths.  

One of the significant challenges associated with RSV is incomplete immunity, which permits recurrent symptomatic infections throughout an individual’s lifespan. While RSV infects nearly all children by the time they reach two years of age, those under six months are at higher risk of severe RSV infection due to immature immune systems.

In older adults, the risk of severe outcomes following RSV infection increases due to age-related progressive decline in immune function, also known as immunosenescence. Currently, RSV prophylaxis is limited to passive immunization with monoclonal antibodies, and no licensed RSV vaccines are available for infants or older adults.

However, multiple candidates are in late-stage clinical trials, have reported preliminary data, and are undergoing regulatory file submission using various RSV antigen targets. Developing an effective RSV vaccine is crucial, particularly for older adults, who represent a significant target population for RSV vaccine development.  

Overall, developing an effective RSV vaccine for older adults would significantly reduce the disease burden and improve the health outcomes of this vulnerable population. Ongoing research and clinical trials are critical to achieving this goal. 



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